Blockchain and Environmental use cases

Introduction

Blockchain technology is often criticized because it is considered unsustainable and harmful to the environment. However, blockchain can also help address environmental challenges that include climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, water scarcity and more. Here are the main use cases.

Certification of environmental credits

The global carbon credit market surpassed a trading volume of 144 billion last year, and the number of offsets sold continues to grow at an exponential rate.

A company operating in this area is Global Carbon Holding, which uses blockchain technology to tokenize carbon credit assets and support a global, transparent marketplace to purchase certified carbon offsets. The company holds certified carbon credits, which are registered with internationally recognized entities, and secured by individual tokens generated by the blockchain. ClimateTrade, a Spanish operates in the same field. The company main objective is to help companies achieve their sustainability goals. It supports companies in offsetting CO2 emissions and financing climate change projects. ClimateTrade has optimized efficiency for companies to achieve carbon neutrality. It is currently working with more than 20 international organizations with more than 150 projects. These include large companies such as Iberia, Melià Hotels, Cabify and Telefónica.

Environmental monitoring

CERN, the world’s largest fundamental physics laboratory, works to improve global air quality monitoring and thereby help solve the public health challenge of air pollution that affects millions of people. CERN spin-off company PlanetWatch has developed and deployed a global network of low-cost air quality sensors with the goal of validating, filtering, and displaying data over the Internet and through a mobile application in real time. The monitoring network is providing real-time data and is the first immutable global ledger for historical air quality data.

The backend technology is the Algorand blockchain.

Non-profit environmental protection

There are more and more non-profit initiatives for projects for environmental protection.

This is where funds are raised from donors to fund projects. Due to its characteristic of being a secure and immutable ledger, Blockchain can provide transparency to donors. This means that it reduces the risks of fake charities, you have more assurance about the volume of funds raised and their use.

With the help of this technology, donors can then accurately verify where their funds will end up.

There are a number of companies working in this area such as, for example, GiveTrack, which offers transparent, real-time reporting on fundraising numbers and goals. More broadly, the company’s mission is to leverage blockchain technology to revolutionize charitable giving.

Tracking and Waste Reduction

Blockchain enables real-time tracking of waste collection and management. It helps track the amount of waste collected, who collected it, and where it is moved for recycling or disposal.

In addition, incentivizing better habits through the issuance of cryptocurrency has proven to be an effective way to produce more responsible behaviors. Blockchain can also be a valuable system for tracking waste disposal habits of individuals and businesses. It can also serve to identify where there is the need for further improvements.

One specific area of application is food waste. With nearly a third of all food produced ending up in the trash, the need to reduce waste is increasingly compelling. A blockchain-based food supply chain enables full transparency of the food chain. It also allows for optimization of partner networks helping to reduce waste.

Rewards for recycling

Among the various types of waste, plastics are a major cause of environmental degradation. Estimates say that global waste will increase by 4 million tons by 2100. The earth’s water bodies are already severely contaminated. There are various projects to provide tangible value through cryptocurrencies to participants. Those who recycle receive cryptocurrencies, thus providing better prices and reducing taxes.

A unique system that upon registration of recycling simultaneously releases the reward is very effective.

Such programs are beneficial, especially in developing countries, for providing a valuable incentive to recycle waste through a reliable and easily accessible revenue-generating medium.

Enforcement of environmental treaties

According to statistics from the International Environmental Agreements (IEA), there are 2,294 bilateral environmental agreements, 1,311 multilateral environmental agreements, and 250 other types of environmental agreements. There is much concern that these agreements remain only on paper and will not generate a real impact.

Blockchain can be a tool to record treaty progress regarding participating nations. An immutable and interoperable blockchain provides data certainty and ample opportunity for oversight. The United Nations is running various blockchain projects to improve adherence to agreements whose implementation relies on smart contracts.

Conclusions

The fields of application of blockchain are now countless, even in the environmental sector there are many companies active with different types of applications.

There are also numerous projects active in this area. Solutions in this area make use of the ability to store data securely and immutably and thus enable reliable tracking.